Time recently released it’s list of the 50 best inventions and the 5 worst inventions of 2009. Most of the inventions in the 50 best were quite good, and all of the inventions in the 5 worst certainly belonged on that list, but there’s one invention on the best-of list that I have to take issue with. That invention is The School of One.
Now you’re probably asking why someone who writes a blog with the primary purpose of educating, for free, anyone who cares to read it and who believes education is something we all need more of would take issue with an invention focussed on education. Especially when it is a well established fact that some students learn best when they get personalized programs. Well, the problem I have is that, as Time notes, it’s learning for the X-box generation. In my book, that’s a problem. Video games can improve our reflexes, challenge our strategy skills, and even reinforce lessons through simulation … but they can’t replace the instruction that comes from a real person or the learning that comes from actually interacting with peers. It’s one thing to use video games as a learning supplement, but quite another to use them as a foundation. Since that’s essentially where The School of One appears to be taking us, that’s why I have a problem with it and believe it doesn’t belong on the “best of” list. We need a Renaissance Education, and that doesn’t start with video games!